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Little Joe

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About Little Joe

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    Family, dogs, shooting, sailing, Free Software, fountain pens
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    Phoenix, Arizona, USA

  1. I tend to disagree that carbs are needed for distance events.  Carbs can, I think, be beneficial for sprint-type activity, but for distance, your body needs to be burning fat for fuel, and I think that a load of carbs will simply delay the process by which your body starts to metabolize those fats.  This has certainly been my experience in ten-to-twelve-plus mile obstacle course races (think Tough Mudder, the longer distance Spartan Race events, etc.) and also on some longer hikes (just this past weekend we hiked Humphreys Peak in Arizona -- ten mile round trip, 3300' altitude gain, topping out at 12,633').  The conventional wisdom is to carbo-load the few days prior to these events and to bring some form of carbohydrate-rich stuff to use during the event.  I find I need none of that.  I bring water, of course, and some salt/potassium packets along just in case of cramps (though I have not experienced cramps while running any of these events).  Oh, I eat a low-carb, grain-free, mostly-paleo diet.  Primarily meat, fish, birds, and lots of green, leafy vegetables.  No potatoes or other starchy foods.  I eat fruit only occasionally, and limit that to a handful of strawberries or blueberries (are those even fruit???).  I do not change my diet prior to races/events, except possibly to eat a bit less the few days prior to help kick-start the fat burning.


    Prior to my celiac disease diagnosis in November of last year, I would eat very limited grains in the form of a terribly delicious, very unnatural, breaded and fried chicken patty several times per week (otherwise, I tried to eat well!).  That was actually fortuitous in that the gluten was certainly doing its work on my small intestine and antibodies.  I was either asymptomatic or experiencing not-normal celiac disease symptoms, and was undergoing endoscopy for another reason.  Blessedly everything looked good except for signs of celiac disease in the small intestine (biopsies taken and confirmed for villous atrophy).  Subsequent blood work confirmed the diagnosis.  Of course, since diagnosis I have quit eating that delicious chicken patty, and learned to source my food much more carefully, and stopped eating out, and... I think everyone here knows the rest.


    All that written, I do not have experience in long bicycle rides, and perhaps there is a difference in nutritional needs?  Anyway, my point is that I have experienced great results in mid-distance strength and endurance events while maintaining a limited carbohydrate diet (at my level of competition, which is very middle-of-the-pack to be sure).


    Best of luck!

  2. I am very new to this, but my understanding is that a low Immunoglobulin A count can cause the ttg (and other?) count(s) to appear low or normal in people who, in fact, do have celiac disease. I think that is why the total Immunoglobulin A count is taken. That is not to say that low IgA *is* causing a false negative, but I think it *can* contribute to or lead to a false negative.

    The negative/normal endoscopy would lead me to think that you do not have celiac disease, but even with endoscopy several samples must be taken from suspect tissue in order to maximize the likelihood of finding extant disease, and I think it is still possible to miss damaged tissue when taking the tissue samples for biopsy.

    Do not take my words to the bank... check back often and I suspect several people more knowledgeable than me will post replies. Best of luck with all this.

  3. While I have not tried it, there is something named Paleo Bread by Julian Bakery (http://www.paleobread.com/, http://www.julianbakery.com/) that is supposed to be good (they have a few lines of low and lower-carb bread, many of which are gluten-free). By "supposed to be good" I have heard (yes, hearsay!) that it is good. I plan on trying some myself, but have not yet put in an order. Our local Whole Foods carries some of their products (but not the Paleo Bread) and they are OK. That said, I agree that, relative to a good, real bread, the gluten-free/low-carb stuff I have tried does not match up well.

    I am no baker, but my wife has become quite adept at making some delicious quick loaf type breads, namely a cinnamon bread, pumpkin bread, pumpkin-cinnamon bread, etc. out of almond and/or coconut flour, eggs, cream, and some other ingredients (I should post her recipes). These, however, resemble a more crumbly banana-nut type bread as opposed to something with which to make sandwiches or toast.

  4. My diagnosis, too, came while looking for something else--it was quite a surprise. That said, my diagnosis is very recent so I am not sure how differently I will feel as my body adjusts to the gluten-free diet. My list of symptoms over the years are all very mild in nature and (outside of celiac) likely causes have been eliminated. Symptoms: migraines (stopped when I adopted a low-carb diet... long before my celiac diagnosis), mild swelling in legs, mild neurological/neuropathy type symptoms, palpitations, etc. OK, the migraines are/were not mild, they are/were debilitating but, at least in my case, low-carb seems to be trick for them. I think I might remember digestive-type symptoms before going low-carb (not gluten-free), but I was also heavy, out-of-shape, and ate very poorly. Since then, but before my diagnosis, my weight is better, my fitness is better, and I do not seem to have any such symptoms. Certainly, I did not seem to be experiencing any of the classic symptoms of abdominal pain, malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.

    I, too, have read much about the (new?) trend of diagnosing more and more people with celiac disease who are not experiencing the classic symptoms of the disease.

  5. I drive by a commercial bakery (Holsum) on my way home most evenings and the smell is oh so good. Fortunately it does not make me want bread, so I can look forward to enjoying that smell whenever I am taking that route home.

    My celiac disease diagnosis was suspected two weeks ago and confirmed just last week, but I have been following a low-carb/almost-paleo*/almost-grain-free* diet since April of this year (and also for several years when I was younger). The result is that, at home, my diet has not changed much. Certainly I am more careful about prepared and packaged foods, but most of my food comes from the vegetable and meat counters (that said, my wife is incredibly supportive and has declared that our entire home will be gluten-free, and we are auditing/researching everything that we buy for food, supplements, anything to be digested).

    My cravings for breads, pastas, pizza, rice, potatoes, etc. stopped several months ago. I feel especially blessed in this regard as I can imagine how hard it is for a newly diagnosed celiac to have to give up so many of the food s/he has grown to love. For me, I have already been through that; the toughest was when I *first* did low-carb in the late '90s--this last time it was not hard at all to give up the carbs/grains. For me, the radical part of this dietary change is the limitations placed on going out to eat. At this time, I am not terribly interested in anything but getting gluten-free, so I do not miss eating out... too much. I imagine I will start to miss it and to investigate the options available in due time... but that is probably for a different discussion.

    I also learned that the thought of bread, and the missing of bread was far more powerful than the enjoyment I got if I ate some. After being low-carb for a few months, bread and other carb-rich foods (at least for me) seem to loose their flavor, and I think that is what allows me to enjoy that bakery smell without wanting bread.

    *I have to chuckle a bit. I describe my diet as almost-paleo because I enjoy cheap, light beer (rarely, but that is what I like when I want a drink), a bit of cheese and yogurt, cream in my coffee, and... a terribly unhealthy, unnaturally delicious, impossibly round, breaded, deep-fried, chicken-product patty they serve at the local dining hall (I work on a college campus). Of all the stuff I am going to miss, I think that damned chicken patty is the one that I am going to miss the most! (being a sailor, I think it wholly appropriate to substitute rum for beer on those rare times I want a drink)